Don’t Bake? No Problem!

Filed under: Bake Sale,Donations,Inspire,Uncategorized — admin @ 10:51 am October 30, 2012

Don’t bake? Don’t have time to host an event?  Maria Potter is proof that you can still make a HUGE difference through a virtual bake sale!

Maria first heard about Cookies for Kids’ Cancer online when she read about the organization’s founder, Gretchen Witt. Like Gretchen, Maria also had a son diagnosed with neuroblastoma at age two.

Inspired by her son, Kasper, getting a healthy report from the doctor, Maria quickly decided to give back by supporting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and pediatric cancer research. She chose to hold the fundraising campaign during May with Mother’s Day right around the corner. She  hoped to celebrate her thankfulness for Kasper’s good health.

“After knowing the horrors of pediatric cancer treatments first hand, I believe I can never rest until there are treatments available to save all children diagnosed,” Maria explained.

With a very tiny kitchen and little time on her hands, Maria decided to set up a giving page titled “Virtual Cookies of Hope”. She set a lofty goal of raising $10,000, hoping to inspire people to give more. Maria was overwhelmed with happiness when she had over 113 donations roll in ranging from $10 to over $2,200, bringing her total to $11,435.

Maria promoted her bake sale through Facebook and e-mails. She wrote letters explaining why she was motivated to make a difference in this organization. At the end of her fundraising campaign, Maria had yet to reach her goal. One quick, last-minute e-mail changed everything: a generous woman donated $2,220 to her giving page!

“I was touched to tears by her stunning generosity, and at the same time, I felt enormous joy to have been able to raise so much money for pediatric cancer research,” said Maria.

A few days later, Maria celebrated Mother’s Day with Kasper. She was extremely thankful for the support of so many generous people who simply wanted to bring HOPE to children like Kasper who battle pediatric cancer.

Interested in hosting your own virtual bake sale? Follow the link to create your own giving page.

Meggie Smith: How to Host a Successful Bake Sale

Filed under: Bake Sale,Inspire — admin @ 1:04 pm October 29, 2012

Today’s guest blogger, Meggie Smith is a fourth year medical student at New York University.  As a past bake sale host, Meggie offers her tips for how to host a successful bake sale.

My life has crisscrossed with pediatric cancer more times that I would have liked. In 1991, my brother passed due to complications from neuroblastoma, the same type of cancer that took Liam Witt’s life. In addition, a girl in my preschool class had a below the knee amputation due to cancer, my high school best friend’s sister had a brain tumor, and, most recently, my brother’s tennis buddy has been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. Thus, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a charity I am passionate about.

Last year, I hosted a bake sale for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, raising $1,200 for pediatric cancer research. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a charity started by my friend, Gretchen Witt, who started the organization after her son, Liam, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at age two. Gretchen was frustrated that many of the potential therapeutic treatments for children’s cancers were unavailable due to lack of funding for new therapies for pediatric cancer. So, Gretchen took it upon herself to host a cookie sale around Christmas 2007 to raise funds herself. By selling all 96,000 cookies, Gretchen raised over $400,000!

I am most inspired by what Gretchen and the Cookies team is striving to do – make sure no parent hears, “We have this treatment, but it isn’t available yet.”

In planning my next bake sale, I made a list of some of my top bake sale tips. I hope they help you if you’re planning one, too!

TWO-THREE MONTHS BEFORE:

1. Pick a date, location, and rain check location. Look for areas of high traffic and visibility.

2a. If you live in New York City and plan on having your bake sale in a city park, I suggest getting your park permit well in advance. It is fairly easy to apply through the NYC Parks and Recreation Department. I booked my space for 5 hours: 1 hour set up, 3 hours of bake sale, 1 hour of clean up.

2b. I suggest making your “sale” not so much a “sale,” but an event with suggested donations. This makes the Parks and Recreation permit easier to obtain and is much easier on the sale day itself (see below).

3. Start asking friends if they can help. Make your master list of volunteers – who wants to bake, who wants to help on the day of, who wants to make signs, so on and so forth. People will appreciate the heads up well in advance. See if you can have some vegan or gluten free options available.

4. Ask local bakeries if they are willing to donate products.

TWO WEEKS BEFORE:

1. Follow up with all of your volunteers and bakeries who are donating to make sure they are still willing to help or bake!

2. Start making signs. The Cookies For Kids’ Cancer website has great ideas and has stickers and such available for sale.

3. Find something to put money in. I suggest the OXO Pop Containers. They do not lock so do make sure someone is watching the money at all times!

ONE WEEK BEFORE:

1. If you are picking up baked goods from anyone, schedule how you will make your rounds.

2. Make an emailable flyer to send to your friends and/or post on social media sites (twitter, facebook, etc).

3. Pre-make cookie dough and freeze it. Will make day before baking much quicker!

DAY OF:

1. Allow at least 1 hour of set up.

2. Have people give a donation for a baked good, rather than selling them for a specific price. I used a $2 minimum for each item. This helps prevent confusion with money exchange and speeds things up if it gets rather crowded.

3. Send people out into the periphery of the park or a few streets over with a few baked goods to sell. This will help attract more crowds, too!

Good luck planning your event!

A Follow Friday Giveaway

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:45 am October 26, 2012

Happy Follow Friday, Good Cookies!

To celebrate the ending of the week, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is hosting a GIVEAWAY. You could win:
1. An OXO travel mug valued at over $25.00
2. An OXO green spatula perfect for baking

Follow the link to enter. There, you will find THREE simple tasks to complete. The more you complete, the more entries you’ll have in the contest! Make sure to tag @cookies4kids on Twitter and Pinterest and @Cookies for Kids’ Cancer on Facebook.

1. Follow Us on Pinterest
2. Tweet About Cookies for Kids’ Cancer
3. Share a Post on Facebook About Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Need help with your Facebook post? Here is one!

Have you heard of @Cookies for Kids’ Cancer? Their organization is moving the needle of science by funding critical research for new and improved therapies for pediatric cancer, the leading cause of death by disease for children under the age of 18. Through the concept of local bake sales, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer provides the inspiration and support for individuals, communities, and businesses to join the fight and bring HOPE to kids battling this unrelenting disease. Follow Cookies and then register to host a bake sale: http://register.cookiesforkidscancer.org/

Contest ends Sunday at midnight. The winner will be announced Monday, October 29, 2012.

Good Cookie Spotlight: Jennifer Pounders

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:34 am October 19, 2012

Jennifer Pounders loves chocolate chip cookies and radiates with the Good Cookie spirit.

Having known Gretchen Witt, the founder of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, Jennifer was motivated to make a difference in honor of Liam Witt, whose brave battle with cancer continues to inspire many. Jennifer was one of the many planners of the annual Richmond City-Wide Bake Sale, an event which has raised tens of thousands of dollars to fight pediatric cancer over the last few years.

“I love that one couple’s pain and determination resulted in a national rampage against childhood cancer that anyone and everyone can join,” says Jennifer about the organization’s ability to have communities host a simple, local event and make a national difference.

A city-wide bake sale takes an incredible amount of planning, but Jennifer warns that you should not let time be the reason for not hosting an event. She believes that no matter the size of the bake sale or the time put into it, that a big difference can be made.

From donations of baked goods to volunteers to multiple site locations, the Richmond bake sale hosts gained a few insights into limiting expenses for holding such a large fundraiser.

“Get your most outspoken, persuasive team member to go ask for anything and everything you need,” adds Jennifer. “Miracles happen and people will say YES! Then you will cry at the beauty of their generosity.”

Richmond’s City-Wide Bake Sale brings together the entire city. A mobile trolley takes baked goods around downtown and hosts set up in over 20 locations throughout the city town.  Customers are incredibly generous and eager to give. Sometimes people do not even ask for anything in return, just are thankful for the time and energy put into fighting pediatric cancer.

“We’re selling cookies but we often become counselors or confidants to people who are either suffering from cancer themselves or have had someone in their family diagnosed or die,” states Jennifer. “People see us a representatives of the fight against childhood cancer and cancer overall. We’re an open window, an open door – a place to share – even just for the minute that transpires while selecting and donating to our cause.”

“It feels good to be a Good Cookie…”

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:54 am October 15, 2012

Annie Steinberg-Joachim is a children’s party planner and the founder of Blast Events NYC. As today’s guest blogger, Annie describes how she became involved with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and how she impacted her nephew’s school  in New York City by hosting a bake sale. Look forward to more posts with event tips by Annie.

I first noticed Cookies for Kids’ Cancer on Facebook– my absolute favorite source to connect with my clients, new people and fabulous ideas across the country. A client had liked their site and I saw pictures of adorable girls with delicious cookies having a fantastic time. As a kids’ party planner, I was thrilled right away and clicked further for inspiration. That’s when I noticed it was a charity– and more than that, it was children supporting other children. I knew right away that I absolutely had to do one of these parties. No matter what, I was going to do a Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sale.

It was just a week later that I found out my nephew’s school downtown, The Léman Manhattan Preparatory School, was eager to get more involved in the community. They were looking for an event planner who would help them give back, and I was beyond excited to bring Cookies for Cancer to their attention. They agreed it was a perfect match, and I went ahead and registered my event on this website. A few days later, I had a question and I emailed the general address. Almost instantly, I was overwhelmed with kind, helpful answers from multiple women in the organization who were so excited that I was involved and couldn’t wait to find out how they could help. Never have I worked with a team as involved and helpful as the Cookies Team. They helped guide the event and made it a smooth process.

Once I began planning, I learned more about the story behind Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. As it turned out, it was the illness of Gretchen Witt’s son that moved her to put this beautiful organization together. Her son, Liam would’ve been in my nephew’s very same class at Lèman Manhattan. They shared friends. I was so touched and inspired; I was driven to put together not just a bake sale, but a celebration. I was personally invested, and completely blew up my initial idea– involved a band (courtesy of sponsor Appleseeds!), arts & crafts, games, cookie decorating, balloon animals and more. In the middle of all the fun they were having, kids would come up to our tables and mention helping children just like them– even if they didn’t exactly understand how, they knew they were helping to make a difference. My team and I met a lot of “Good Cookies” that day– from Gretchen to mothers and classmates, new neighbors, and even a local restaurant, Bobby Van’s, surprised us with a giant tray of baked goods and didn’t ask for any recognition– they just wanted to help out. It turned into not just a bake sale, but an event for the community.

My favorite part wasn’t the money we raised, but something changed inside Blast Events NYC that afternoon too. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer helps open conversations between parents and children about doing good, and even about illness. We now feel strongly about suggesting parents ask birthday guests to donate to a cause in lieu of gifts– many parents feel their child has too much “stuff” anyway. I loved the warmth I experienced from the organization and from all who participated, and I can’t wait to do it all again! It feels good to be a Good Cookie…


Can a Bandage Fight Pediatric Cancer?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:06 pm October 14, 2012

Ouchies Bandages live by the motto, “Hide your boo-boo, not your style!” This company created a unique new program, Ouchies for Others, which helps in the fight against pediatric cancer and gives a portion of the profits to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

Ouchies for Others is a program that gives kids the opportunity to design their own Ouchies bandage! Kids, 18 years old or younger, are asked to create artwork that will be printed on an Ouchies for Others bandage. Submitted artwork will be publicly posted to Ouchies Facebook page.  Fans will vote by ”like”-ing submitted artwork.  The top 10 submissions with the most Facebook “likes” will be judged as potential winners.  A jury will then select 5 design winners.

Follow the link to the template and official rules of the Ouchies for Others program. Your submitted design can help put a smile on the face of kids battling pediatric cancer. Enter today!

Denny’s Inspires Others to Be Good Cookies

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:53 am October 12, 2012

80 Denny’s Restaurants in upstate New York and Arizona are fighting pediatric cancer. Glenn and Tina Beattie from Top Line Restaurants, Inc. were inspired to raise money for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer because of the Witt Family. In the following guest blog post, Glenn and Tina talk further about their inspiration for supporting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. For a complete list of participating Denny’s, follow the link.


Our company is proud to be a longtime supporter of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. We were deeply touched by Liam’s short but significant life and wanted to do what we could to help the fight against pediatric cancer. Little did we know how enthusiastically our customers would respond.

In May of 2011, our 28 Denny’s in Western and Central New York held month-long fundraisers for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. For each donation made, paper “cookies” were signed and hung on the walls of the diners. By the end of the month, tens of thousands of cookies lined every wall, window and door frame of our restaurants!

Thanks to our guests we raised $75,000 in just one month!! – a sum that through Cookies for Kids’ Cancer will help fund lifesaving research and treatments.

Our passion spread within the Denny’s community and this year, we have an additional 60 locations participating in our fundraiser in both New York and Arizona. With the additional restaurants and guests involved we are excited to significantly increase our financial impact.

As business owners, we are honored to partner with an amazing organization like Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and the spirit in which they are fighting pediatric cancer. As parents, we are inspired by Gretchen and Larry, and as neighbors, we are humbled by the overwhelming support of our guests who have also been touched by this cause.

One of our guests, the parent of a child with pediatric cancer, sent a letter that said coming into our restaurant with her child during our Cookies fundraiser made them both feel like they weren’t alone in the fight. And they are not. We look forward to continuing to do our part to uphold Liam’s legacy and make a difference in the lives of these brave young children.

– Glenn and Tina Beattie, Top Line Restaurants, Inc.

Why OXO Cares

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:34 am October 10, 2012

You may not know this, but Cookies for Kids’ Cancer founders also have day jobs working at OXO. OXO employees have been avid supporters of Cookies since day one. Read on for an open letter from OXO’s President, Alex Lee, describing why supporting pediatric cancer research is so important to OXO.


At OXO, we operate a lot like family. Together we celebrate birthdays, weddings and anniversaries just like we would with friends and loved ones – because we TRULY regard one another as friends and loved ones. On May 13, 2004 we were overcome with excitement at the arrival of Liam Witt, the beautiful son of two long-time OXOnians, Gretchen and Larry Witt. On January 24, 2011 we were overcome with grief at his passing.

Liam was a fixture in our office, and not just at company events (though it was always fun to guess which superhero he would be for Halloween). It was rare for a week to go by without a visit from Liam and his sister, Ella. He instinctively followed OXO’s philosophy to question everything and was always willing (sometimes too willing) to test products and give his honest (sometimes TOO honest) feedback. We often raced around the office on our respective scooters and he beat me most of the time -  it must have been because his scooter had three wheels while mine only has two!

Gretchen and Larry’s loss was our loss, too.

In 2007, when Gretchen had the ‘just so crazy it might work’ idea for a bake sale, we rallied together to support her efforts. We were there alongside Gretchen and Larry as they sold 96,000 cookies and raised over $420,000. When that bake sale turned into Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, OXO employees did whatever we could to help – bake cookies, write thank-you letters, tie ribbons, and of course, host an annual bake sale – because that’s what family does. We support one another.

For a number of years, we researched a cause that we, as a corporation, could align ourselves behind. Ironically, it was Gretchen who initially led the charge. In the end, it kept coming back to one thing: We wanted to support a philanthropy that OXO employees were truly passionate about, one that had impacted each of us personally and profoundly. There was no other choice than Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

In the first year of our partnership with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, our work inspired others to help us build awareness and funds for Pediatric Cancer Research, to the tune of over $250,000. This year, we are thrilled to continue a partnership with this organization so close to our hearts. Once again, OXO has pledged up to $100,000 to support Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Visit cookiesforkidscancer.org to learn how you can team up with OXO, Bake a Difference, and fight Pediatric Cancer.

Sincerely,

Alex Lee
President

Santa Cruz Community Fights Pediatric Cancer

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:34 am October 8, 2012

On September 6, an article in The Santa Cruz Sentinel sparked the community to bake a difference for Gabriella, a little girl diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma. The article, “Sweetness in the midst of difficulty”, created an outpouring of support for Team G’s Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sale. Community members began to e-mail and call Gabriella’s mom, Kristin to ask, “How can I help?”

Local businesses and schools heard the news of Team G’s bake sale and decided to take action. Some businesses had “bake-offs” to see who could give the most baked goods.  Schools and Girl Scout troops offered to volunteer at the event. Kristin’s dream of a big bake sale began to take shape.

Team G’s Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Bake Sale recruited over 130 volunteers for the event including 55 plus bakers, 12 Sassy Cakes pre-cupcake makers, 50 Good Cookies at each location. Volunteers even baked over 2,000 treats to sell.

“Cookies, cupcakes and baked goods were coming in by the bucket full on Saturday,” says the Santa Cruz Good Cookie.  “People were lined up to drop their goods off and pick up their pre-ordered cookies and cupcakes.  As they were being dropped off, some were taken and bagged, ribbons and stickers applied then dispersed to all the tables.  It was just incredible to watch as the community came together and a site that just warmed my heart.”

On the big day – September 30th, bake sales all over Santa Cruz set up. Some friends dressed up as cupcakes and Cookie Monster to catch the eye of customers. Volunteers held signs on the street and waved to passers-by.

Between pre-sold baked goods, t-shirt sales and the city-wide bake sale event, Kristin and Team G’s Cookies for Kids’ Cancer raised $22,580 for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

“It was just incredible to see a community come together with such enthusiasm and heart,” says Kristin. “I was so honored to be a part of it all.  There’s no way it would have happened without everyone’s participation and dedication.  As Gretchen [Holt Witt] says, “Cookies are Magical”.  A saying I won’t forget anytime soon.”

To read more about Gabriella, visit our Inspiring Kids page.

“Loss is not the end. It’s merely an invitation to change.”

Filed under: About Cookies for Kids' Cancer,Inspire — admin @ 10:32 am October 4, 2012

Guest blogger and author of Those We Love Most, Lee Woodruff, reminds us that books can do good in the world. Throughout her book tour, Lee continues to spread Liam’s love throughout the country, inspiring individuals to support Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. To learn more about Lee Woodruff, visit www.leewoodruff.com.

I’ve known Gretchen Holt Witt for almost 20 years.  And when her son Liam was diagnosed with cancer, all of us were connected in the spirit of battle.  While I was writing the book, “Those We Love Most,” Liam was valiantly battling through another relapse.  By the time the book was complete, he had lost his battle and Gretchen was busy keeping Liam’s legacy alive through Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. What started with Gretchen baking hundreds of thousands of cookies to raise the money to put a drug into production had become a national non-profit foundation, focused on giving children like Liam the hope they deserve. She continues to call upon us all to join in the fight against pediatric cancer by simply being a Good Cookie.

There is a quote I used in the book as a way to honor Liam, the Witts and all of us. “Loss is not the end.  It’s merely an invitation to change.”

I believe that books can do good things in the world.  We are all connected by the experience of loss and grief, and watching the Witt family was a reminder that human beings are resilient; that we are built to survive.  We may not ever get “over” a loss but we can get through it.  And when I saw what Liam’s legacy was, to help other kids through the magic of cookies, I realized that this book could also assist that mission. My third book is for Liam.  It is dedicated to him. And with that dedication comes a vision – to spread Liam’s love to every person I meet and to challenge them to be a part of this movement and to be Good Cookie. Join us today.  Together, let’s                                                       prove that children and books and love can truly change the world.